Whitaker & Wiggins Top the Week-6 IBCA/Franciscan Health Player of the Week Honorees
Last week saw a number of tremendous performances by both boys and girls around the state. It was one of the more difficult weeks to select winners, as there were baskets filling up nightly, 1000-point scorers, big-time rebounding performances, school records set, and more. Now that the dust has settled, six student-athletes have been selected as recipients for the Week-6 IBCA/Franciscan Health Player of the Week award.
Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian Senior Caleb Furst, Greencastle Senior Brody Whitaker, East Central Senior Logan Rohrbacher, Bremen Junior Ellia Foster, Heritage Christian Senior Ariana Wiggins, and Brown County Sophomore Abby Fleetwood have been selected as honorees for Dec. 7-Dec. 12 in the recognition program coordinated by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. Furst is the boys’ winner, and Foster is the girls’ winner in District-1. Whitaker takes home boys’ honors, while Wiggins is the girls’ honoree in District-2. Rohrbacher and Fleetwood are the boys’ and girls’ recipients, respectively, in District-3.
In his only game of the week, Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian’s Caleb Furst put on a show against #8 Silver Creek, helping the Braves to a 94-84 double overtime win against the Dragons. The 6-9 Senior forward scored 23 points and grabbed a game-high 22 rebounds in victory. The Purdue University signee also managed to hand out eight assists and block three shots in the contest, helping Blackhawk Christian to a 4-0 start and the #4 ranking in the latest IBCA poll.
Bremen Junior Ellia Foster led the Lady Lions to a pair of wins last week, moving their record to 4-2 on the season. Tuesday evening Bremen hosted Mishawaka, and behind Foster’s 34 points, the Lions walked away with an easy 68-24 win. The Junior wing added seven rebounds, four assists, and four steals in the effort, plus she was 4-5 from 3-point range.
Returning to action Friday night, Bremen traveled to New Prairie for a big conference matchup, and they narrowly escaped with a 41-40 Northern Indiana Conference victory. Foster was big for the Lions once again, scoring 23 of their 41 points in the game. The 5-8 wing also contributed seven more rebounds, three assists, and three steals on the night.
Greencastle’s Brody Whitaker was outstanding last week, leading the Tiger Cubs to a pair of road wins over the weekend. Friday night, the Senior guard was 13-24 from the field, 5-10 from 3-point range, and 7-8 from the charity stripe, on his way to 38 points, as Greencastle won 78-46 at Western Indiana Conference rival South Putnam. Whitaker also snagged a dozen rebounds, handed out a pair of assists, collected a pair of steals, and blocked a shot in the win.
Saturday, the Tiger Cubs headed to Southmont, where they earned a 64-45 road win against the host Mounties. The 6-3 Senior was once again on top of his game, knocking down 12-21 shots, 3-7 from deep, and 5-7 from the line, scoring 32 points this time out. Whitaker again posted a double-double with his 11 rebounds, plus he added an assist and five steals in victory. The Senior guard has committed to play at Marian University next season.
Heritage Christian Senior Ariana Wiggins has been stellar all season, but last week she was on another level. Friday night at Circle City Conference foe, Bishop Chatard, in a matchup of Division-I backcourts, Wiggins was most impressive, scoring 33 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to post a double-double. Heritage Christian fell, 71-61, but not for lack of effort on the Senior point guard’s part.
The Eagles returned to action the next afternoon, and behind another strong outing from Wiggins, Heritage Christian handed Fort Wayne South Side their first loss of the season, 68-45. The 5-8 Senior poured in a single-game school record of 40 points on 13-25 shooting. She was also 4-8 from 3-point range and 10-13 from the free throw line. Wiggins, a University of Michigan signee, also handed out five assists, collected two steals, and blocked a pair of shots in the big win.
In District-3, it was East Central’s Logan Rohrbacher who shone through during Week-6 with a pair of 30-point efforts. The Senior guard began his week Friday evening in a tightly contested, 86-81, double overtime loss to Jennings County. Rohrbacher was an even 10-20 from the field and a solid 10-12 from the free throw line on the night. He collected seven caroms, assisted on seven additional baskets, plus he collected three steals and blocked a shot.
The next day, East Central hosted Oldenburg Academy, winning 50-40 in a much lower scoring game. The 6-3 Senior scored 30 of his team’s 50 points on 8-16 shooting, he knocked down a 3-pointer, and he was again smooth from the line, making 13-16 shots from there. The currently uncommitted Rohrbacher also grabbed nine rebounds in the weekend win.
Brown County Sophomore Abby Fleetwood is our lone winner who managed to play three games last week, helping her Eagle team to victory in two of the three. Tuesday night the Eagles hosted Eastern Greene, defeating the Thunderbirds, 72-57. Fleetwood began her week with a near triple-double, as she scored 26 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and stole the ball nine times. She was 11-17 from the field, she buried a 3-pointer, she knocked down three free throws, plus she handed out four assists in the win.
Thursday evening, the 5-7 Sophomore did reach double-double status in a 50-44 Western Indiana Conference win against a tough Owen Valley squad. Fleetwood scored 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while burying 10-11 shots from the charity stripe. The Sophomore guard also contributed four assists, six steals, and three blocked shots in the contest. Saturday, Fleetwood had another solid outing, though Brown County fell to Sullivan in a nail-biter, 59-58. She filled the stat sheet once again, with 25 points, seven rebounds, eight assists, five steals, and a blocked shot. Fleetwood was again on fire from the line, knocking down 9-10 free throw attempts.
This is the 13th season for the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Week program, but the first season it is presented by Franciscan Health, a corporate sponsor of the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.
Player of the Week winners are chosen each week from each of the IHSAA’s three districts. Girls winners will be chosen through the Monday following the IHSAA Girls State Finals. Boys winners will be chosen through the Monday following the IHSAA Boys State Finals.
Other Top Nominees for Week-6 (2020-21)
District-1 Boys: Robert Allen, South Bend Clay; Connor Essegian, Central Noble; Nick Flesher, Andrean; Jalen Jackson, Carroll (Fort Wayne); Jason Jones, South Bend Washington; Landen Jordan, Churubusco; Fletcher Loyer, Homestead; Christopher Mantis, Lowell; Blake Wesley, South Bend Riley; Cale Wireman, Kouts.
District-1 Girls: Allison Capouch, Kouts; Asia Donald, Hobart; Lilliann Frasure, North Judson-San Pierre; Ryleigh Grott, Marquette Catholic; Georgia Hanauer, Southern Wells; Remi Jordan, Knox; Bailey Kelham, Garrett; Mila Reynolds, South Bend Washington; Julia Schutz, Andrean; De’Mour Watson, Elkhart.
District-2 Boys: Evan Altman, Brebeuf Jesuit; Brooks Barnhizer, Lafayette Jefferson; Champ Ellis, Union (Modoc); Brevin Hallatt, Blue River Valley; Brady Hunt, Delta; Jack Scott, Anderson Prep; Braeden Shrewsberry, West Lafayette; Braden Smith, Westfield; Quincy Stamps, Indianapolis Metropolitan; Jackson Ullom, Monroe Central.
District-2 Girls: Kenzie Fulks, Bethesda Christian; Alli Harness, Carroll (Flora); Laila Hull, Zionsville Community; Chanya Lambert, Central Christian; Ally Madden, Blue River Valley; Teresa Maggio, McCutcheon; Olivia Nickerson, Twin Lakes; Zakia Rasheed, Bishop Chatard; Ashlynn Shade, Noblesville; Jayla Smith, Lawrence North.
District-3 Boys: Tyler Goecker, Trinity Lutheran; Trevor Harvey, Crawford County; Curt Hopf, Barr-Reeve; Cade Jones, Eastern (Pekin); Travis Jones, Edinburgh; Jaylen Mullen, North Daviess; Cody Samples, South Ripley; Blake Sisley, Heritage Hills; Caleb Swearingen, Northview; Tanner Toopes, Tecumseh.
District-3 Girls: Lana Bell, South Decatur; Averi Davidson, North Central (Farmersburg); Madison Gray, Union County; Paige Ledford, Jac-Cen-Del; Danica Myers, Eminence; Sheridan Robbins, Orleans; Bailey Tabeling, Trinity Lutheran; Amaya Thomas, Evansville Central; Alaina Thorne, Washington; Jasmine Walker, Clarksville.